SBVC Foundation
Quarterly Newsletter
November 2022
Recent News
San Bernardino Valley College to Rename Campus Center in Memory of Lois Carson
SAN BERNARDINO, California—In honor of her dedication to the Inland Empire and decades of service as a mentor, advocate, and champion of education, San Bernardino Valley College is renaming its Campus Center as a tribute to Lois Carson, an alumna and the first person of color elected to the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees.
"She cared for young people, cared for the community and politics, and formed a community to help poor and low-income earners," daughter Patricia Landaker said in a statement. "And she never lost her passion."
The Lois Carson Campus Center building dedication will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, at San Bernardino Valley College, 701 S. Mt. Vernon Ave., San Bernardino. This event is free and open to the public.
“It is fitting that such a central facility on our campus, which serves so many of our students’ physical and academic needs, be named after Hall of Fame Alumna Lois Carson,” said interim president Dr. Scott W. Thayer. “Ms. Carson championed the causes of educational access and equity during her long and distinguished career and her impact continues to be felt by generations of students and families in our community.”
Carson, a member of the SBVC Class of 1965, died on July 14, 2021, shortly after her 90th birthday. Throughout her lifetime, Carson was devoted to public service, starting when she was a girl growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. The valedictorian of St. Augustine Catholic High School, Carson earned a United Negro College Fund scholarship and attended Wilberforce University, the first private historically Black university in the United States.
In 1959, Carson moved to the Inland Empire with her husband of 55 years, Harry Carson, a fellow SBVC graduate. Together, they raised six children, while actively working to make the community a better, more equitable place.
Carson earned her bachelor's degree in English from California State University, San Bernardino, as well as master's degrees in English and education from the University of California Riverside. While a teacher and director of UCR's Upward Bound program, Carson helped low-income high school students prepare for higher education, something she continued to do as deputy director of San Bernardino County Community Action Partnership and later executive director of Community Action Partnership of Riverside County.
In 1973, Carson made history by becoming the first person of color elected to the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees, and her 24 years on the board make her the longest-serving member to date. She was also on the SBVC Foundation board; created SBVC's Lois J. Carson Scholarship; served on the National Board of Community College Councils, where she pushed to increase minority access to nursing programs; established the San Bernardino County Status on Women Commission; and was named the 2008 Woman of the Year in California's 62nd Assembly District.
To Make a Donation to the Lois J. Carson Scholarship

Please click the "Donate" button above her picture to make your gift.

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San Bernardino Valley College Partners with Amazon to Expand Educational Opportunities for Employees
SAN BERNARDINO, California—San Bernardino Valley College has officially partnered with Amazon to expand educational opportunities for the company’s employees.
This partnership—called Amazon’s Career Choice program—will allow eligible Amazon employees to expand or improve their technical skills or pursue associate’s degrees and certificates through San Bernardino Valley College’s on-campus or online programs, while receiving pre-paid tuition benefits to cover the cost of tuition, books and fees. SBVC has joined hundreds of institutions around the world in offering its many degree and certificate programs directly to Amazon employees, many of whom are residents of the San Bernardino Community College District.
“This is a valuable opportunity for Amazon employees to pursue or continue their educational goals,” said SBVC interim president Dr. Scott W. Thayer. “SBVC is the best starting point in our community for any student who wants to learn a new skill or earn college credit. We are proud to collaborate with Amazon to make the life-changing career programs we offer more accessible to everyone in our community.”
“Amazon is a proud supporter of the SBVC Foundation, especially through this new partnership,” said David Ambroz, Amazon’s Head of External Affairs & Community Engagement. “Career Choice ensures that our employees can get financial support to advance their skills and careers, lifting up both Amazon’s employees and the SBVC community. We know that access to a quality education is key for success in today’s world, and we’re happy to do our part in ensuring that our employees in San Bernardino can continue to make a difference and receive a college education.”
San Bernardino Valley College is committed to providing a high-quality education to learners in the community, preparing students to transfer to four-year universities or enter the workforce. For over 96 years, SBVC has offered degrees and certificates in the liberal arts, science and technology, business, and the humanities. Students can choose from a variety of degrees and certificates that cover many popular, in-demand professions, including pharmacy technology, culinary arts and aeronautics.
To learn more about Amazon’s Career Choice Program, visit
To learn more about San Bernardino Valley College, visit
Six SBVC film students accepted to UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside and other leading universities in the state
It’s a big year for San Bernardino Valley College’s Film, Television, and Media (FTVM) Department as six of its students are slated to graduate from the program on May 25th.
With acceptances from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), University of California, Riverside (UCR), and even California State University, Los Angeles – it’s evident that the multi-million dollar state-of-the-art equipment invested into the program is paying off and providing San Bernardino students a route to Hollywood.

“I moved from Texarkana, TX to San Bernardino in 2017 and SBVC’s FTVM program surpassed my expectations. I never imagined during my time there that I would have the opportunity to shoot on 35mm film. This type of skill is usually only available at the university or graduate level, yet the program has already offered this type of curriculum in order to prepare me to work with film in the industry,” said UCLA-bound student Odin Contreras. 
Some of the program’s state-of-the-art equipment includes cameras like the Arri Amira, Black Magic Pocket 6K Pro, Sony FS7, Sony A7iii, and a 4K television studio inside KVCR, which is located on the SBVC campus in San Bernardino.
Valley College anticipates future demand for electric truck technicians
In 2020, San Bernardino Valley College launched a comprehensive electric truck technician training program which graduated its first five students in December 2021. This initiative was funded by the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) Project, which is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work to reduce greenhouse emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment.

The program launch coincided with the onset of COVID-19 resulting in canceled courses and an enrollment of only two students. In 2021, fifteen students enrolled in the program and eleven are continuing their studies of heavy/medium duty electric truck technician training. In 2021, the first cohort of students graduated from Valley College’s Volvo LIGHTS program. All five of the graduates received $1000 scholarships from Southern California Edison.

Berchman “Kenny” Melancon is the faculty chair of the Heavy/Medium Duty Trucks Technology program at Valley College. Melancon helped design the curriculum for the program and is the only full-time faculty member. The certificate is a 22-unit program. Students have the option of completing general education courses to receive an associate degree. “The Volvo grant allowed us to purchase the equipment to use in our lab area for the curriculum we’re teaching,” says Melancon.

The current Heavy/Medium Duty Trucks facility is located across the street from Valley College’s main campus. The laboratory is filled with hands-on equipment which has been donated by companies like Volvo, Freightliner, and Allison. The equipment is priced within the $30,000 to $60,000 range. Volvo recently donated a Zero Emission Heavy Duty Truck for hands-on training. The San Bernardino Valley College Foundation submitted a community funding request for up to $1.5 million to Congressman Pete Aguilar's office to purchase two trucks and two trailers.

On April 8th, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate construction on a new Applied Technology Building which will house the Heavy/Medium Duty Trucks program. The construction is estimated to take roughly 3 years and costs $20 million.

Funding from Volvo LIGHTS ended this year. Funding now comes from Southern California Edison and SoCalGas. Many students involved in this program are given scholarships to put toward their educations and books are often paid for and used in multiple classes.

“They’re saying by 2026, all diesel buses are gone. They’re almost all gone now. So, they [buses] either will be CNG (compressed natural gas) or electric,” says Melancon. “One of our students was working for Riverside Transit Authority washing buses, cleaning windows, but he couldn’t get into the shop. He came to class, he graduated, he took extra courses and when he finished SoCalGas gave us scholarship money for him to take a national tank inspector exam. He passed the exam and got his license. He was moved into the shop, and recently became a supervisor.”

Currently, manufacturers of electric trucks provide in-house training for the maintenance of these vehicles, but as warranties expire the demand for electric-truck technicians will increase. California is moving away from gas-powered vehicles which will also increase the demand for technicians. Valley College is only public college in the area that offers a certificate program for heavy/medium duty electric truck maintenance.
Melancon says his hope is that high schools continue to offer automotive education to students, so that high school graduates are more inclined to enroll in public college programs like these.

Volvo LIGHTS took home top honors- Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability- at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) 2022 Sustainability Awards. The ceremony was held May 5 in Palm Desert.

Sustainability Award Honorees
The Southern California Association of Governments presented these awards.
  • Active, Healthy and Safe Communities: The City of Riverside, for its Riverside PACT Project
  • Clean Cities – Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure: Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), for its Metrolink Trains Run on Fossil-Free Fuels Project
  • Efficient and Sustainable Land Use: City of Rancho Cucamonga, for its PlanRC General Plan Update
  • Equity: Port of Long Beach, for its Community Grants program Housing Innovation: City of El Centro, for its Lotus Living Tiny Home project
  • Green Region Initiative: Orange County Transportation Authority, in partnership with the City of San Juan Capistrano, for the City Parcel/2C Ranch Habitat Restoration Project
Finish Line Scholars Program Continues to Impact SBVC Students
Join the Alumni Association
Former SBVC students, faculty, staff, and administration are welcome to join the San Bernardino Valley College Alumni Association.
We will keep you up to date on SBVC events, news, and alumni successes!

SBVC Foundation Board of Directors
Mr. Dexter Thomas
Foundation President       
Mr. Justin Martinez
Foundation Vice President
Ms. Tenille Norris
Foundation Treasurer
Dr. Scott W. Thayer
Foundation Secretary

Dr. Susan Bangasser
Michael Burrows
Dr. Dennis Byas
John Echevarria
Scott Henderson
Gary Kelly
Dr. Kenneth Lane
Kimberly Morales
Kerry E. Neal
Patricia Nickols-Butler
Shelby Obershaw
Lisa Obershaw Durham
Robert O'Brine
Joseph Paulino
Ms. Beverly Powell
Thomas Robles
George San Martin
Allynn Scott
Michael Sola
Dr. Anne L. Viricel
SBCCD Board of Trustees

Gloria Macias Harrison
Board Chair 
Dr. Stephanie Houston
Vice Chair
Dr. Anne L. Viricel
Board Clerk

Dr. Nathan Gonzales
John Longville
Frank Reyes
Joseph R. Williams

Student Trustees
Robert Alexander, CHC
Paul Del Rosario, SBVC
SBCCD Chancellor
Diana Z. Rodriguez

Executive Vice Chancellor of Business & Fiscal Services
Jose Torres

Vice Chancellor of Educational & Student Services
Dr. Nohemy Ornelas

Vice Chancellor of Human Resources/
Police Services
Kristina Hannon
SBVC President's Circle
Kathryn Adams
Ted Alejandre
Robert Armenta, Jr.
Donald & Carol Averill
John & Elaine Bancroft
Susan Bangasser
Yolanda Moses & James Bawek
Beaver Medical Clinic
Susan Bennett
Dennis & Barbara Byas
CSU, San Bernardino
Catholic Charities
City of Rialto
Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County
Jay Danley
Dignity Health
Nimal Diunugala
DLR Group
Doing Good Works
Lisa & Paul Douglas
Glenn Drewes
Follett Corp. Bookstore
Foundation for California Community Colleges
G&M Oil Company
Ernest & Dorothy Garcia
Robert Garcia, Jr.
Nathan Gonzales
Mary Grande
Scott & Leticia Hector
Lloyd Hile
Hillwood Investment Properties
HMC Architects
Inland Empire Community Foundation
Inland Empire Film Services, Inc
SBVC President's Circle
Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Johnson
Gary & Lizzie Kelly
Deana Kelly-Silagy
Kenneth Lane
Bill Lemann
Alma Lopez
Juliann Martin
McCarthy Holding, Inc.
John McMahon
Loutisha & James McReynolds
Patricia Nelson
Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs
David Obershaw
Shelby & Chuck Obershaw
Omni Trans
P2S Engineering
Mike & Beverly Powell
Redlands Community Hospital
Frank & Eloise Reyes
Michael & Amanda Rivera
Deborah Robertson
Diana Z. Rodriguez
Dawn Rowe
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Stephen & Ruth Sandlin
Sharing, Caring & Giving of Oneself Foundation
Stater Bros. Charities
Lawrence Stirling
Scott W. Thayer
Dexter Thomas
Tomorrow's Talent, LLC
University of Redlands
Wells Fargo Foundation
Pat Zaharopoulos
The President's Circle is a select group of community partners contributing to the success of the San Bernardino Valley College Foundation (who donate at least $1,000 annually).
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Become a part of SBVC History, for $250, your personalized, engraved brick will be placed in the breezeway of the SBVC Athletic Complex. This is a great way to honor yourself or a loved one. All proceeds will be used to support SBVC students and programs.

San Bernardino Valley College Foundation

SBVC students are grateful for the direct support provided by scholarships. The SBVC Foundation also helps college programs with equipment, supplies, and activities to enrich the student experience. Additionally, there are many planned giving opportunities that will create a legacy impact, such as listing the SBVC Foundation in your estate, or as a beneficiary in your retirement/life insurance accounts.

If you are interested in helping students achieve their educational and career goals, the SBVC Foundation can help! Contact us to discuss how your gift can make the difference for our students and community. The Foundation is a non-profit 509(a)(3) organization; therefore, contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible.